Ever since Rickie Weeks reached the Major Leagues back in 2003, there has been debate on his compatibility with the leadoff role. If there were any doubters left, I would be surprised if they weren’t silenced by Weeks’s breakout 2010 season. Those who remain likely won’t be a fan of Ron Roenicke. Check out this quote from a 2009 Baseball Prospectus Q&A (subscription required).
DL: Chone Figgins has been an excellent leadoff hitter this season, combining both speed and a high on-base percentage. If you had to replace him at the top of the order, which of those two skills would you value more highly?
RR: I think that if it’s a guy who runs decent and gets on base, I’d rather have the guy who runs decent and gets on base. If it’s a guy who is a great runner, but gets on base at .330 or .340, I don’t want him leading off. Unless it’s, you know, some of these teams have leadoff guys who hit 20 homers. That’s a little different. Now you’ve got a guy who is kind of scary at the top of your lineup. That would make a difference.
By this account, it certainly appears that Roenicke understands the idea that what matters at the top of the order is a good hitter, not necessarily a fast hitter. Rickie Weeks, as of right now, qualifies as such. He adds speed and the difference making power which Roenicke references. It looks like Weeks will be a perfect fit at the top of Ron Roenicke’s lineup.